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Timing light and mixture setting....


Guest MJG
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Usual question as per when somebody needs to buy a bit of kit.

Now that I am being re-aquainted with the joys of manually setting the timing and fuel mixture on a vehicle (Series III 2.25 petrol) I need to get a decent timing light and mixture setting tool.

Recomendations please (None of this Snap On stuff though please.....way too little bang for the buck IMHO).

- Timing light needs to be the type to clip over the HT lead and 'sense' the HT current rather than be 'in circuit'. If you don't know what I am going on about here you will be too young to understand so please don't bother posting a reply..... ;)

- When I were a lad I used to set the fuel mixture on my Mini(s) using something called a Gunsons 'colour tune'. Essentially a replacement spark plug with a transperent body that allowed you to set the fuel mixture by observing the colour of the combustion process. Does any body still use one of these, are they any good (they used to be). If not what do folks use.

Many thanks folks..........

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I've got one of the gunsons cheapo timing light. Seems to work ok, but its not really bright enough for use outside. You seem to end up huddled over the engine with the bonnet down on top of you to see the timing marks etc. Having used one I have to say the snap-on ones are lovelly bits of kit, and can be picked up 2nd hand for not alot more than the cost of a reasonable halfrauds type one. If you do buy a cheapo halfords one, i would only say do not buy the cheapest one, as they are trully awful!!!!

Colourtune is very old hat and I threw mine away years ago! The modern way to do it is with a CO meter. I've got one of the Gunsons ones, which was not cheap and I have to say i wouldnt recommend anyone to buy one. Its very tempramental and doesnt seem to be terribly accurate, plus it only measures CO and doesnt measure HC etc. Unfortunately there doesnt seem to be anything else on the market, between the unit I've got and a professional type machine costing many hundreds of pounds.

Not much help I know!

Jon

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Timing light- I use one made by Optilux, xenon. so it's bright enough to use outdoors. Think the company has been bought out by Hella. Very reliable piece of kit. That good that when I mislaid my original I bought another identical model, this time as above from Hella.

Mixture- let the 2.25 do it for you. Make sure the timing and sparking is good. Turn the mixture screw in until it stops, now wind out two complete turns, the standard starting point for most carbs. Start the motor, keep on smoothing out the idle with the mixture screw and reducing the idle speed, again and again. By the time you have the idle down to 250-300 rpm and smooth your mixture will be about right. Raise the idle speed to whatever you require.

If the above does not bring success you have a problem somewhere.

If you did minis you should have used the lifting pin or a thin screwdriver. Far more accurate tan Gunsons gadgets.

jw

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I've got one of the more upmarket Gunson timing lamps - sold as the Gunson 'Heavy Duty' Timing Lamp - which is excellent if a little on the spendy side. Bought it because it was all I could get when I needed one in a hurry, and paid more than I would have otherwise (£60-70 from memory), but judging by comment above maybe that was a good thing!

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You could always liberate a lambda sensor from the scrappy for a fiver - less than .5v is lean, more than .5v is rich. Get a heated one and just jump it to the battery if you need to. Not sure if you could poke it in the end of the exhaust or would have to weld a boss in closer to the engine.

For ultimate tuning bling you could buy an Innovate wideband one from Bill and then rent it out to all your mates.

Mind you, perhaps that's a bit far advanced for clockwork :ph34r:

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I have a colourtune - and have set up carbed v8's quite well with it, although I agree that it is at the lower end of technology!

jwriyadh response is spot on, an "old timer" (no pun intended) set up a 2.25 for me once using that method and it was perfect.

However, having just had my motor tuned using a Wideband sensor as FF mentioned ^, its the way to go, quick, accutrate and blingy!

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Fridge, the upper part of the lambda sensor needs to be in open air so that the sensor has two gas mixtures to compare. That does not stop you using a heated sensor in a more conveniently located M18 size orifice that you have just drilled.

istruggle2gate11, thats the way I was taught some time ago. I agree, a WB sensor is the way to go now.

jw

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